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I Didn’t Mean To

ISSUE:  Summer 1988

unbalance the flowers on their stems:
their brute grace fisted me silly. Now
I’m sodden as Sunday. Greeks
couldn’t speak of my feelings, I’m a zoo baby.

Oleo hour, the sunlight seemed
a little older. Trellises of coreopsis
emerged graceful from the garden in my lap,
naked and apathetic. Listen, I wasn’t
a conscious composition, my legs arranged like sprays
in an artless bouquet. The lower ranges of love

talk no-hands, but for you every sailor in the fleet
has to rush the rigging, each wave
a cause for captains. I trust the asexual song
filling my mouth with another burgeoning. . . .

It’s an intricate
resistance, I tell you, one part blind innocence,
two parts barbarian terrain. While I explain,
the cyclamen lets fall its rosy wings, forced
blossoms drop their petals on the floor.


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